Well, this topic is definitely NOT new and it’s not difficult to understand the value that the usage of hashtags adds in the engagement on your social media platforms even after almost a decade of its first use in 2007. Perhaps that’s the reason this special character is even more special for marketers and still in talks. When you see a spike in numbers, it’s THE time that you start analysing the what, why, how and when of it, and adopt the set pattern accordingly for your future course of action.
Needless to say, hashtag works differently for each platform and has different parameters as well, based on which it will give you the best and worst results for your efforts. However, if you do a little study on ‘what makes it work wonders for you’, you are good to go.
Here are few pointers that’ll take you from basics to pro tips and tools giving you a fair idea on ‘how a hashtag works’ to maximise your content’s reach and engagement.
1. Consider using a hashtag to contribute to the data pool of a global search tool (feels big! Isn’t it?), instead of just using it as an embellishment to your posts. Remember every time you use a hashtag, it gets converted into a hyperlink and you allow others to (a) click on the hashtagged keyword and read all posts about the same keyword on that platform and (b) find your post while they are searching for related info. What everyone gets in return is – an increase in reach and engagement.
Pro Tip: Mind you guys, this system is not limited to your fans, your location, your brand interest and your target audience. It just reaches people without any limits unless set otherwise.
2. Take the liberty to add one-word hashtag or a group of words as a hashtag. You, of course, need to consider the platform to make this choice, for example, using a group of words as hashtag will be a big advantage on Instagram but probably a disadvantage on facebook.
Pro Tip: Know that as a marketer you just have 3-5 seconds to attract readers with your content, make sure you capitalise 1st letter of each word in your hashtag if you are using a group of words (without any space or punctuation of course). This makes your hashtag readable, quick to understand and hence easy to register in mind. See ‘#HotChocolateFudge’ as an example in the snapshot above.
3. Go creative with hashtags, use them to get loud and be heard. On the internet, all hashtagged posts are basically categorised under one roof (specific to a platform) and this allows you to start a chain of dialogues on any topic/ cause/ campaign just by using a hashtag.
Pro Tip: While there is a News or Gossip trending on a platform, hashtag associated with it, is the first thing you should look for and leverage using your creativity on how close and relevant you can talk about it without compromising on the overall brand/ product/ service niche that you cater to.
4. Hashtag means the same everywhere but it produces different results on different platforms and that makes us share with you the number of hashtags you should use on each platform to increase its effectiveness.
- Twitter: Use maximum of 2 hashtags with a relevant caption in a tweet because that’s what Twitter will allow you to do with its character limit. However, it is still doable to add more hashtags with less text and achieve partial engagement.
- Facebook: is a ‘not so popular’ platform in the case of hashtag but you can opt to have 1 hashtag in a post and expect growth in the performance. DO NOT, and we really mean that, do not ever add more than one hashtag on facebook if you want to reach the maximum number of audience because that might work the other way round restricting the reach.
- Instagram: This one comes with a limit, yes you heard it right! Although Instagram allows you to add 30 hashtags in one post but if you’re adding this many, you are adding too many. We suggest you stick to any number between 10-20 keeping them relevant.
5. Research as much as you can on the popularity of different hashtags on different platforms for your niche and do it every time you plan to come up with a new content theme or campaign.
6. Last but definitely not the least; you cannot afford to ignore the relevancy because that’s what plays the major role in increasing the engagement rate. While adding hashtags in your post, match the relevancy of selected keywords with-
a) The topic that you are talking about in that particular post
b) The Audience you are targeting with that particular campaign
c) Overall brand definition and Identity that you want your audience to perceive in their mind